This week's SMS recipe was selected by Cynthia of Bakingtherapist: black bottom brownies! I'd made some black and white cheesecake bars back in November and really enjoyed the chocolate and cheesecake combination then so I was curious to see how these would compare.
This was one week where procrastination seemed to worked in my favor. Many of the early reviews on these brownies were mixed and I was fortunate to receive some tips from Leslie over at Lethally Delicious about how she'd improve the brownies if she were to make them again. When I finally set out to make the recipe this morning, I incorporated Leslie's suggestions. Specifically, I moved the chocolate chips to the brownie layer instead of scattering them on top of the cheesecake (which had sounded very strange to me the first time I read through this recipe) and I added lemon zest to the cheesecake layer. I didn't measure how much lemon zest I used but it was probably close to 1 teaspoon - I used my fingers to rub the zest into the sugar to perfume it before proceeding with that part of the recipe. I scaled this recipe back, making just 1/4, and baking it in a loaf pan. The baking time for my scaled down recipe was about 50 minutes.
After letting the brownies cool, I trimmed the edges (which were a bit ragged) and cut them into squares. My 1/4 recipe yielded 8 brownies. I didn't sample a full brownie but I did eat the edges that I'd cut off and I enjoyed them. I definitely prefer the bars I made in November, but these were tasty too. I liked the chocolate chips in the brownie layer - they added texture and gave the brownies more chocolate flavor. The brownies overwhelmed the flavor of the cheesecake layer in my opinion but I did appreciate the creamy texture the cheesecake added to the mix. Many thanks to Cynthia for hosting this week! You can find the recipe on her blog.